This post will share a recipe for pickled bread and butter jalapeños and a few clever techniques for keeping your sweet and sour pickles crisp and delicious.
This post kicks of a week of preserving fun here at The Domestic Wildflower in honor of Can It Forward Day, July 22. You can look forward to a ton of canning inspiration & education this week, Wildflowers!
I don’t can a lot of pickles. I also don’t can much that is very spicy, either. As you learn more about canning and develop the set of recipes you enjoy making and your loved ones enjoy eating, you will too find that there are some foods you can over and over and others you don’t end up trying.
The purpose of this blog is not to merely document what happens in my little kitchen and sewing area, though that does happen a lot I admit, but to help you all learn how to make more by hand, cook more from scratch, do more for yourself, and improve your domestic lives by leaps and bounds as a result. And lots of you want to learn how to cook spicy, pickled savory things.
Before you start this recipe, download this free canning process guide I created for you. It will simplify everything!
Enter my friend Kimmy. We grew up in the same little community, laughed our way through many an FFA van ride, ruled the Parliamentary Procedure circuit together, and have both made canning a part of our motherhood cooking routine. Kimmy is an experienced preserver; when I told my mom that I asked Kimmy to guest post, she enthused about how Kimmy’s mom was a great canner as well and recounted various dishes prepared by her mom she enjoyed at baby showers and other events over the years.
As you can more and more, and you feed your partner longer and longer, it often happens that their eating preferences become part of your cooking routine. This is true with our lovely guest poster Kimmy. She shares below the technique for keeping your peppers crisp and the varieties of peppers you can use to spice your jar up even more. Here’s Kimmy!
I love this recipe for so many reasons! Mostly, because growing up I never appreciated how delicious a jalapeno was. Hot peppers were never something that we had around or used in cooking very much. My mom would chop up a few for a homemade salsa now and then, but that was pretty much it. Enter my husband Ricardo. When I met my husband back in 2006, every time we would have a meal, at home or in a restaurant, he would order jalapenos on the side. I thought he was nuts, but soon, refrigerators of every place that we frequented were well stocked with his favorite condiment. Fast forward 10 years and our house is stocked with hot peppers in many forms, some of which I have come to love. We have hot sauce, dried peppers, jalapenos pickled in vinegar, and my all-time favorite- bread and butter pickled jalapenos.
This recipe is adapted from the Blue Book Guide to Preserving, which is the book I recommend to all of my friends who want to get started canning. I love this book because it has simple recipes to can pretty much anything and is up to date with current USDA recommendations for canning. Along with this book, I also recommend Jenny’s canning course, Start Canning. She asked me about a month ago to preview the course that she created for new canners and it is amazing! She shows you the process of canning step by step. It truly is the next best thing to actually having someone in your kitchen with you, showing you each step of the canning process. I highly recommend it.
*Aw, shucks Kimmy, thanks!
To get started you will need around 4 lbs of hot peppers. I like using jalapenos but have also mixed in serranos, anaheims, and other kinds of hot peppers as well. I like to slice the rounds into ¼ inch slices using my mandolin cutter, but a cutting board and a knife will do just fine. Oh, and I prefer to use gloves while dealing with these peppers. I had an unfortunate incident one time where I wiped my eye while cutting peppers and it burned for days! So now, I am very careful.
Next, you will need a few onions, thinly sliced. I used 4 small onions, but you can use more or less depending on if you like a lot of onions in your peppers. Go ahead and throw the onions and peppers in a big bowl together. You are going to layer them with canning salt (About ⅓ cup total). Then, cover the top layer with ice cubes. The salt and the ice help to keep your pickles crisp. Go ahead a let these sit on the counter for an hour or two.
While you are waiting you can prepare your jars, lids, and canner. Fill your large stockpot with water. I use a big enamel canner when doing these peppers because I usually do two or more batches at a time. However, you can use any large pot that you already own. Just make sure to have some sort of rack on the bottom so that your jars aren’t sitting directly at the bottom of the pot. Put your jars inside your pot so they will heat up and boil as your canner starts to boil. This sanitizes your jars. This recipe yields about 7 pints, but I always do a jar or 2 extra just in case there are more peppers. I like to use pint jars for these peppers, but any canning jar would work. Sometimes I do them in ½ pint jars to give away as gifts. The jar size is totally up to you.
*You can print off the canning equipment list here!
Next, you will need to put your lids and rings in another small saucepan. Put the water to simmer. The reason we do this is to soften the rubber ring around the jar lids in order to create a good seal.
Ok, so you have your peppers and onions bringing in the salt, covered in ice. Your canner is filled with jars, working on a boil, and your lids/rings are simmering away. Now for the rest of the recipe. Combine 2 cups white sugar, 2 Tbs mustard seed, 2 tsp turmeric, 2 tsp celery seed, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp whole black peppercorns, and 3 cups vinegar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
It’s time to drain and rinse your peppers/onions. It’s ok if they are a little wet, but you don’t want any extra water in the bottom of your bowl. One at a time, you are going to take your jars out of the boiling canner and fill it with the pepper and onion mixture. Squish those babies down; don’t be afraid to really pack them in there. If you leave too much space, after canning them, you will have a ton of liquid on the bottom of your jar. It will still be perfectly safe to eat, and really yummy, but it just doesn’t look as good as a full jar sitting on your shelf.
Next, you are going to use your jar funnel, and ladle your liquid into the jar with the peppers and onions. Make sure to leave ¼ headspace at the top. At this point, I always take a clean washcloth, dampen it with hot water and wipe the ring of the jar off, just to make sure that there isn’t a spec of anything that will cause my jar not to seal. Take a ring and a lid from your simmering water, tighten on your jar and return this full jar to the canner. Repeat with the rest of your jars. Process for 10 minutes, making sure to adjust for altitude if needed. Add 5 minutes for every 1000 feet above sea level.
Once your processing time is complete, using your jar lifter to lifter your hot jars from the canner, placing them onto a towel on your counter. Let the jars sit for 24 hours before washing, removing the rings and setting in your pantry. Don’t forget to admire your handy work.
*You can print the helpful canning process cheat sheet here to guide you at the stove!
These peppers are sweet and tangy and not overly spicy. They are better if you let them sit and cure for 4-6 weeks before eating. The longer you wait, the more flavor that develops. We like to eat them on hamburgers, nachos, over even plain on an hors d’oevre tray.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family. It is a great way to preserve those jalapenos that all seem to ripen at the same time in your garden.
Bread and Butter Jalapenos
Adapted from Blue Book Guide to Preserving
4 pounds jalapenos cut into ¼ inch slices
4 small onions, thinly sliced
⅓ cup canning salt
2 cups sugar
2 Tbs mustard seed
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
3 cups vinegar
Combine peppers and onion slices in a large bowl, layering with salt. Cover with ice cubes. Let stand 1-2 hours. Drain, rinse, drain again. Combine remaining ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Pack peppers and onions into jars. Cover with simmering liquid, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe jar rims, tighten lids and rings onto canning jars. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner, adding 5 minutes for every 1000 feet of elevation above sea level. Label sealed jars and store in a cool, dark spot.
Yields about 7 pints
What do you think, Wildflowers? I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I sure do know how to pick a guest poster 😉 When I read this recipe to my husband he immediately asked, “Why don’t you can things like that?!” I guess I will have to start 😉
If you would love to learn how to can but have no idea where to begin, I’m here to help. I want you to head to Start Canning so I can SHOW you in a way a cookbook cannot how easy and fun canning can be.
Psst- if jalapeños aren’t ripe where ever you are, pin this recipe anyway- you won’t want to skip it! If you love Pinterest, I hope to see you join our Wildflower Subscriber’s Board so you can share project and recipe inspiration from all over!